Several years ago while Sarah and I were on vacation with another couple we decided to check out a restaurant that had a reputation for having one of the best chefs on the east coast. We had to wait over an hour on a weeknight to be seated, the staff was rude, the dining room was crowded with tables so close together that you elbowed your neighbor with every bite.
The food was as delicious as promised, obviously prepared by an expert in the kitchen but I hardly remember it. What I do remember was the bad experience I had with the people between me and the food. I left there not singing the praises of the chef but complaining about the actions of the staff.
The message of the Lord is good, it is sweet, it is the finest that there is prepared by the greatest that there is, but the actions of those who deliver it, the actions of the church who is tasked with carrying it, has an impact on how it is received and how it is remembered. Our message is true but our actions speak to the truth of our message in our lives. For better or worse, our reputation will have an impact for generations to come.
The church in Thessaloniki was one that was delivering the message of God with actions that reflected God. This was a city at the crossroads where people of all kinds visited, worked and passed through. This was a church that had an opportunity to share the message of hope with their words and show it with their actions and because of that people believed and further spread the message.
Paul received a good report on the message and activities of the Thessalonians. What report would be written about us? Are there choices in our lives that cause people to overlook the truth we proclaim? Are there actions in our churches, perhaps unintentional, that sour the sweetness of our message?
To discover more, visit Oak Grove Baptist Church.
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